Thursday, October 27, 2011


Seen on the Southbound platform at the Fullerton Station, at about 8:25 a.m.

Colin clutches his Starbucks and stares at the tracks, his eyes bewildered from lack of sleep. His gaze skips across one metal track, the wooden ties, the other track, and finally settles on the deadly third rail. He has the sudden urge to jump onto the tracks, dramatically tiptoe and twirl across them until he reaches the electric bar, and walk along it like a tightrope. Maybe he’d fake everybody out with a planned convulsion first. The CTA attendant’s voice would come over the platform speakers: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Amazing Johnny Current!” 

Colin learned that he couldn’t be electrocuted when he was just five years old. His 9-year-old sister, Connie, was blow-drying her hair while he took a bath. They started fighting over who would get to pick the music in their mom’s car that day. Frustrated, Connie threw the hair dryer at Colin’s head, and it landed in the water. Their mother rushed in when she heard the dryer hit the wall; she was shocked to see Colin not shocked. He was playing with his G.I. Joe, the dryer bobbing by his elbow.

His fantastic ability made him a natural candidate for CAPES. He joined up when he was 27, and The Encyclopedic Woman had given him the name Johnny Current. His services had been invaluable to the group. He had scaled the electric fences of dozens of villains’ lairs. He had stepped in front of countless tasers. But sometimes he wished he could perform for an audience. Show off a little. He sometimes dreamed of touring with a circus, dazzling crowds under the red-and-yellow big top—a place so unlike this gray, rainy Chicago morning. 

The return of CAPES! Good times. I think I'll just start posting the CAPES fan art Leta made me whenever I write about them: 
 It really is beautiful, n'est-ce pas? In other news, I'm gogo dancing at the Meatloaf-a-GoGo food truck downtown tomorrow. I am really looking forward to it. :) I also submitted a bunch of stories last night, so we'll see how that goes. Anyway, have to get back to work. 


  1. CAPES! You should make "the Encyclopedic Woman" into a link to the post about her.

  2. Also - since Capes is "the oldest and most illustrious" superhero group in Chicago, I would like to hear about some of the city's less prestigious (and less reputable?) masked avenger groups :)


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